2012 Wild Card Race: Thursday Night, September 20, 2012


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via i.imgur.com courtesy of VEB community member tomsteele

After Thursday's games, the National League Wild Card standings table looks like this:

Club

Wins

Losses

Winning %

GB of 2nd

Homefield GB

Last 10

Streak

Braves

86

64

.573

--

--

6-4

W1

Cardinals

80

70

.533

--

6.0

5-5

W3

Brewers

77

72

.517

2.5

8.5

8-2

W5

Dodgers

77

73

.513

3.0

9.0

3-7

L1

Phillies

76

74

.507

5.0

11.0

7-3

W2

Pirates

74

75

.497

5.5

11.5

2-8

L3


After the jump, a look at how the competitors for the second Wild Card berth fared this week and what their respective schedules look like for the weekend.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

This afternoon, the Cardinals completed a sweep of the Astros at Busch with a one-run victory. By sweeping the Astros, the Cards did what they needed to do and must continue to do for the next week: beat up on the National League Central bottom-feeders. The Astros leave St. Louis with a .320 winning percentage and a -215 run differential; thankfully, the Redbirds have three more games against them next week. Before that series, however, the Cardinals go to Wrigley to take on the Cubs, whose .387 winning percentage and -119 run differential are second-worst in the NL to Houston. This stretch of games gives the Cardinals ample opportunity to create a bit of distance between themselves and the pack.

Next up: 3 games at Chicago

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

The Brewers refuse to fall further behind. After surging in recent weeks, Milwaukee marched into Pittsburgh this week and effectively snuffed out the Pirates' postseason hopes. The Brew Crew's three-game sweep of the Pirates was punctuated by a comeback win today in a game that the Pirates led 7-4 in the 7th only to lose 9-7. The game was an incredible microcosm of the two clubs' respective seasons. For the Brewers, keeping the mojo going will be difficult. The Brewers have been bad on the road this season and they take their act to D.C. for four games against the league's best club.

Next up: 4 games at Washington

Elimination Number: 11

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

The Dodgers were unable to keep pace with the Cardinals and have fallen behind the Brewers in the Wild Card standings. While the Cards and Brewers were sweeping their opponents this week, the Dodgers were dropping two of three agains the the AL East leading Nationals. Tonight, the Nats beat them 4-1. It doesn't get any easier for the Dodgers this weekend as they go from facing the team with the NL's second-best record to the team with the NL's best record.

Next up: 3 games at Cincinnati

Elimination Number: 10

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

After the Phillies dropped three of four agains the lowly Astros last week, many wrote their season off as over. The Phillies bounced back varily with a three-game sweep of the Mets. Tonight, they annihilated New York with eight first-inning runs. The next six games likely won't be as easy as the last three against the doorMets.

Next up: 3 games vs. Atlanta

Elimination Number: 9

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

The Pirates' collapse has been brutal. The 2012 season was supposed to be the first step in the club's renaissance from perennial punchline to perhaps the postseason. Trade deadline acquisitions didn't help the club's on-field results. The club seemed to bottom-out this week with the three-game sweep in Pittsburgh at the hands of the Brewers. Today's brutal loss pushes the Pirates to a game below the .500 mark that has become an albatross of futility hanging around the franchise's neck for nearly two decades. The only thing the Pirates currently have going for them is playing the Astros this weekend.

Next up: 3 games at Houston

Elimination Number: 8

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